Paddle tennis celebrates 50th anniversary at Edgeworth Club
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Paddle tennis at the Edgeworth Club in Sewickley has come a long way.
In 1962, the club became the first in Western Pennsylvania to have a court, said Patty Whalen, a former player who helped organize a dinner-dance held last week to mark the 50th anniversary.
Now, the club has four lighted courts, with men, women and junior players competing across the area in the Western Pennsylvania Platform Tennis Association.
Nathalie Lemieux, the wife of Penguins owner Mario Lemieux, is among the club's players.
Also known as platform tennis, paddle is played primarily in winter months on an elevated court equipped with propane floor heaters.
The heating system melts ice, allowing play outdoors in all weather conditions.
Whalen said she has played in Michigan when the temperature was 12 degrees.
Dressed in winter attire, players use paddles about 18 inches long to hit a spongy, skid-resistant rubber ball measuring 2.5 inches in diameter.
“Paddle is as popular as ever,” Whalen said. “Even municipalities have courts.”
Whalen finds the sport a great way to beat winter doldrums.
“It does make winter seem shorter,” agreed Cassie Ross, 81, who began entering tournaments with her husband, Bill, in the early 1970s. “You're out in the fresh air, which makes you feel so much better.”
With more tennis professionals playing, Jim Miller said the sport is quicker than when he began competing 50 years ago.
Miller, 77, has competed longer than most players.
“My knees are still fine,” Miller said.
Miller enjoys the camaraderie.
“I play with a group of guys who are competitive, but like to kid each other and socialize afterwards,” he said.
With more than 500 facilities, paddle tennis also has grown nationally, said Ann Sheedy, executive director of the American Platform Tennis Association.
Before 1960, the association had only 46 members.
“Platform players are addicted to their sport,” said Sheedy, who lives in Fox Chapel and has competed in tournaments and league matches at the Edgeworth Club.
According to Sheedy, the Fox Meadow Tennis Club in Scarsdale, N.Y. was the first to build platform tennis courts, in 1931.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hays ‘eagle cams’ reinstalled for 2015 nesting season
- Penguins’ Crosby details his mumps experience
- Starkey: Pederson had to go at Pitt
- Steelers, young and old, thirst for opportunity to reach the postseason
- West Virginia offensive coordinator takes job with Kentucky
- Judge dismisses littering charge against City Council president Kraus
- Chryst returns home, named football coach at Wisconsin
- Developer reveals Buncher plans for 400 Strip District apartments, townhomes
- QB Smith is chief concern for Steelers’ defense
- In Pittsburgh charges, feds target Uganda-based counterfeiting ring
- Arnold Stop-n-Go robbed